A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, has expressed dissatisfaction with the practice of granting state pardon to convicted public office holders.
El-Rufai said he believed that granting state pardon to convicted public office holders was aiding corruption, arguing that it should be controlled.
Among those that have been granted state pardon in Nigeria is a former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
El-Rufai spoke on “Corruption, and the challenge of good governance’’ at a lecture organised by an association of Muslim businessmen, The Companion, in Lagos on Sunday.
He noted that corruption would be reduced in the country through provision of welfare packages for public officers.
He said, “Giving state pardon to convicted political office-holders has a way of discouraging Nigerians not to be corrupt.
“What kind of message do we want to be passing to our youths when we pardon corrupt public office holders who are convicted?
“Pardoning convicted corrupt persons in Nigeria is sending a wrong message to the young ones. Corruption affects good governance and it must be checked. It is the effect of coruption that we can now feel in basic amenities, such as electricity, infrastructure, water, and security, among others.”
The former minister blamed the security challenge in Nigeria on the failure of intelligence agencies, which he said, were also affected by corruption.
The President of the group, Mr. Musbaudeen Oyefeso, appealed to government at all levels to collectively fight corruption and insurgent attacks disturbing the growth of the country.
While saying the theme of the lecture was directed at providing solution to the increasing rate of corruption in the country, Oyefeso said, “There is the need to check the spread of corruption. We only hear that efforts are being made, it seems nothing was happening to check the trend.”
Chairman of the occasion, Otunba Lateef Owoyemi, recommended that introducing ‘corruption studies’ in schools would help to check scourge.